Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Education Tabs

A few recent stories about education.

From the Star Tribune, What works for kids? In Norway, it's a less-stressful classroom atmosphere. Commentary by a Minnesota mom whose 9-year-old, diagnosed with ADHD back home, suddenly finds himself "normal" in a classroom that has three recesses and much less emphasis on testing. Somehow he managed to learn how to speak Norwegian at the same time.

A parent whose now-adult daughter went to a Quaker school visits the school and sees a good example of the way education should be, thinking about the box instead of trying to get outside it.

From the Washington Post blog, a teacher’s troubling account of giving a 106-question standardized test to 11 year olds. Best to take your blood pressure medication before reading.

Finland's Pasi Sahlberg takes on the GERM (Global Educational Reform Movement) in a presentation (pdf). The characteristics of GERM:
  • Competition
  • Standardization
  • Test-based accountability
  • School choice
  • Education as industry
Contrast that with the Finnish way:
  • Collaboration
  • Personalization
  • Trust-based responsibility
  • Equity
  • Education as human right
There's even one slide that has just these words on it: "Children must play."


Raf Feys said...

Finnisch miracle: fata morgana?
Finnish students’ achievement (15 y) declined significantly: study of University Helsinki
University of Helsinki - Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Department of Teacher of Education Research Report
Learning to learn at the end of basic education: Results in 2012 and changes from 2001
S.: The change between the year 2001 and year 2012 is significant. The level of students’ attainment has declined considerably: under the mean of the scale used in the questions. The difference can be compared to a decline of Finnish students’ attainment in PISA reading literacy from the 539 points of PISA 2009 to 490 points, to below the OECD average.

Raf Feys said...

View of Finnish teachers versus view of Pasi Sahlberg
Oxford- Prof. Jennifer Chung ( AN INVESTIGATION OF REASONS FOR FINLAND’S SUCCESS IN PISA (University of Oxford 2008).
“Many of the teachers mentioned the converse of the great strength of Finnish education (= de grote aandacht voor kinderen met leerproblemen) as the great weakness. Jukka S. (BM) believes that school does not provide enough challenges for intelligent students: “I think my only concern is that we give lots of support to those pupils who are underachievers, and we don’t give that much to the brightest pupils.